Sweet Guns N' Roses Anniversary

04/11/2011
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On this day in 1988, Guns N' Roses shot the video for their song "Sweet Child O' Mine" in a ballroom in Huntington Beach, CA. Gibson takes a look back: Released in the U.S. on August 18, 1988, "Sweet Child o' Mine" was Guns N' Roses' third single from their blockbuster debut album, Appetite for Destruction. It would go on to become Guns' first and only #1 single in the U.S., as well as rack up countless high rankings on a plethora of "all-time best" lists, including #1 on Kerrang's list of "100 Greatest Riffs," #1 on Total Guitar's "Greatest Riffs of All Time," #37 on Guitar World's "100 Greatest Guitar Solos," and so on. The list is long.

By most accounts, "Sweet Child o' Mine" was little more than a song born out of chance, boredom and no small amount of sheer luck. Slash, the creator of the song's signature riff, has even been quoted as having a smidge of loving disdain for the song, relegating that classic riff into little more than a "string skipping" exercise. During a VH-1 special, the Chapeaued Shredder admitted that the riff was joke, a "circus" melody he came up with while warming up with former GN'R drummer, Steven Adler. Co-guitarist Izzy Stradlin soon joined the jam with bassist Duff McKagan, while upstairs Axl Rose heard the boys and started writing lyrics, which he based on his girlfriend at the time, former Whilhelmina model (and daughter of Don Everly of the Everly Brothers) Erin Everly. The song originally had three verses, but producer Mike Clink convinced the band to use only two, while also including Axl's "Where do we go? Where do we go now?" mid-song breakdown.

McKagan told Hit Parader, "It was written in five minutes. It was one of those songs, only three chords. You know that guitar lick Slash does at the beginning? It was kinda like a joke because we thought, 'What is this song? It's gonna be nothing. It'll be filler on the record.' Slash was just messing around when he first wrote that lick." more on this story

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